“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”—Albert Einstein
There are only three words to describe three days of Q&A of Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson by most Republican Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee: Belligerent, Badgering, and Inexcusable.
Let’s go to the highlight reel.
Sen. Ted Cruz repeatedly hammered Judge Jackson on her record in giving “light” sentences to some individuals guilty of owning child pornography. Cruz repeatedly interrupted Jackson while she attempted to respond.
“‘I’ve now examined all the child porn cases you’ve had as a federal district judge. There is a very consistent pattern,” Cruz said.
“He referred to ‘Chazin,’ which was ‘a particularly nasty case’ involving dozens of videos of prepubescent girls engaging in sexually explicit conduct, The Dallas Morning News reported.
“‘I have spoken at length throughout this hearing about these cases. I’ve said what I’m going to say, which is I’ve taken every case seriously’” Jackson said, before being cutoff
The Texas senator cruised on. “So you’re not going to answer that?”
“‘No one case can stand in for a judge’s entire record,” she said. “You have picked out seven or eight cases. I’ve sentenced more than 100 people.”
In response to similar aggressive questioning from Sen. Lindsay Graham about related cases, “Judge Jackson outlined how such cases had changed since Congress passed a law that enhanced sentences based on the number of images found in a defendant’s possession. At the time of the law, such images primarily came through the mail, and the number of images indicated the lengths to which a person had gone to obtain them.”
“But, she tried to explain over Mr. Graham’s repeated interruptions, [that] in the internet age, huge stores of images can be acquired with a few clicks of a mouse.
“‘You can be doing this [looking at images of child porn] for 15 minutes, and all of a sudden you are looking at 30, 40, 50 years in prison,’ she said. Mr. Graham interjected, saying, ‘Good — absolutely good.’”
“Never mind that those sentences did not come up at Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearing last year to a federal appeals court, that other judicial nominees have faced no questions about similar sentencing decisions, or that a former federal prosecutor called the allegations ‘meritless to the point of demagoguery’ in the conservative National Review.
However, if Senator Graham is interested in past records, it might be worth examining his own. Here’s what the “honorable” Senator said about Donald Trump in 2015:
“He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. He doesn’t represent my party. He doesn’t represent the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for. … You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.”
Somewhere along the line Graham chose hypocrisy over rationality, and decided to throw in with a man who hasn’t “a clue about anything.”
Then there’s the tweet from Josh Hawley:
“Judge Jackson has a pattern of letting child porn offenders off the hook for their appalling crimes, both as a judge and as a policymaker. She’s been advocating for it since law school. This goes beyond ‘soft on crime.’ I’m concerned that this a record that endangers our children.”
BREAKING: Fox News reports that “Members of the American Bar Association (ABA) panel that investigated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s legal record rejected GOP claims that President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee has been soft on child pornography offenders.
“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. . . asked the ABA whether such concerns came out in their investigation.
“‘We did not find any evidence of that,’ said Joseph M. Drayton of the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.
“‘No evidence of it?’ Durbin pressed.
“‘No evidence,’ Drayton said.”
While the facts show claim after claim by Republicans to be false, millions continue to hear what they want and ignore the rest.
Only one Republican on the committee, one rationalist, the Honorable Ben Sasse of Nebraska, called the display by his colleagues, “jackassery,” and “people mugging” for the cameras.
But we’re part of the insanity, too. Every time we think the Republican party can’t go any lower, it does.